Category Archives: Garden of Eden

Holy Communion: receiving on the tongue vs grabbing with the hand

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Tiny little feathered friends seen on the Day Off. Very humble, that. Merely receiving. Not grabbing. What does the Lord say to us all in Psalm 81:11?

“Open wide your mouth that I may fill it.”

Also, the Tree of Life, i.e., the Tree of the Living Ones, comes to mind. Adam may receive the fruit of the Tree, the Eucharist from the Cross, but Adam may not reach out his hand and grab the fruit of the Tree, pretending that in that way he will live forever, that is, because he reached out his hand as if he’s saving himself. No. But he may receive if he is receptive.

Adoration this past Sunday at 6:00 AM at Holy Redeemer:

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Filed under Birds, Eucharist, Garden of Eden, Nature

A “day off” in the Garden of Eden (3)

The author, a monk at le Barroux, sent me his just published theological reflection. I read it yesterday on my day off at the Hermitage. It got my brain working, my heart moved, my soul shaken enough to perhaps maybe getting a move on with the popular version of the thesis. He cites Aquinas. 

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Filed under Garden of Eden

Cogito ergo sum vs Adam’s intellect vs redemption’s humble thanksgiving

GEORGE DAVID BYERS - COAT OF ARMS - revision

In the Hebrew text of Genesis 2:7 we read how YHWH Elohim breathed the breath of the living ones into the formed dust, with the inescapable conclusion that there is to be life concomitantly supplied to Adam so that, then – Adam now being the subject of the verb – so that Adam might become a living individual. Adam has an agent intellect to draw and keep together that which cannot possibly work together, namely, that which is material and that which is spiritual.

That this is the case is demonstrated by how it is that this would come to an end, that is, when Adam, instead of eating from the tree of the living ones, choosing that which is consonant with the living ones, instead eats from the tree of knowing good with evil, that is, a choice which has his intellect dumbed down into a lack of appreciation for that which is good because it now suffers the admixture of evil, that is, in the very perception. Having lost the power of his intellect he also loses the power to keep body and soul together (as he doesn’t know what he is keeping together) and he begins to turn to dust once again.

In this catastrophic state, he is tempted to reach out to eat from the tree of the living ones, but will only hurt himself in doing this since he cannot possibly appreciate what it is that living ones choose, for he now sees everything good with an admixture of evil, that is, in an egotistic manner, not with love, but just what he can get out of whatever or whoever for himself. Should he raise his hand to grasp after the fruit of the tree of the living ones, he will be routed by the Cherubim with their flaming sword, the flames of enmity, God’s love, with the sword being that which turns whatever comes to it into its contrary. If he wishes, Adam can be routed to where he can receive from the tree of the living ones, no longer wanting to stupidly grasp after it himself.

Meanwhile, grasping at living forever is saying, “Cogito ergo sum,” “I think, therefore I am,” Descartes’ horrific aggression, ever so lonely, ever so individualistic, only hurting himself with his “thinking” which cannot possibly truly perceive what he is doing. Adam didn’t become a living individual by means of his thought, for he could not yet think with nothing yet having come to his senses (as he was not yet alive). Adam became a living individual because he was provided with an agent intellect which necessitated body and soul coming together. Adam was immortal, unless he sinned. He did. The temptation after is to think like Descartes. How sad.

But the very Creator, YHWH Elohim, said he himself, as the incarnate Son of the Woman of Genesis 3:15, would put enmity between ourselves and the evil one, that is, changing us with friendship with himself, grace, which he could provide to us in his own justice because of taking the initiative to stand in our stead, taking on the death we deserve, stomping on the head, the power, of the evil one, but he himself being crushed for us in doing this.

The question should be asked as to how it is that we can assent to the gift of enmity when we cannot possibly appreciate the fullness of the goodness of God. But God isn’t asking us to plumb the mysteries, to have the beatific vision while on this earth. He is only asking us to have humble thanksgiving. His grace enables us assent by faith, not by demonstrable thought. We cannot put God’s love in a Cartesian test-tube, but we can assent by God’s grace to the fruit of the tree of the living ones, the Eucharist from the Cross.

P.S. Thanks to elizdephi for the great art-work for the coat of arms…

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Filed under Garden of Eden, Genesis 2-4 to 3-24

I think I’ve got a plan

PIB

It’s now nine years since I’ve defended my thesis on Genesis 2,4a–3,24 – Two Generations In One Day. The defense commission made me promise to write a popular version of the thesis. To date, I have failed to keep this promise. The task is daunting, a thousand times more difficult than the thesis itself. I have started it many times, only to give up because of external circumstances. But now I think I’ve figured out a way.

It’s not just a coincidence that today is the feast of the great poet, deacon and doctor of the Church, Saint Ephraem the Syrian, who is the very first to be cited in the thesis, heading up the introduction.

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BECK, Des heiligen Ephraem, V, iii, 4-6. Brock translates well: «When I reached that verse wherein is written the story of Paradise, it lifted me up and transported me from the bosom of the book, to the very bosom of Paradise» (BROCK, St. Ephrem, 103).

“When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.” (Luke 16:22).

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Filed under Garden of Eden, Missionaries of Mercy